Advancements in ITS have already come a long way: many of today's cars can foresee and avoid collisions, steer clear of traffic jams using up-to-the-minute traffic reports, navigate the quickest route to their destination, and provide multimedia communications. Think of a computer on wheels.
The next twenty years are expected to herald myriad more advancements. Standards are crucial to ensuring the large-scale and safe deployment of emerging automotive technologies. Under the partnership, ISO and ITU will form a Joint Task Force for ITS Communications to pool resources within ITU and ISO, link existing work and avoid duplication, and foster better collaboration between overlapping industry sectors.
"There is a will from manufacturers to implement these technologies, but as yet there has been no real breakthrough in terms of the technical standards needed to roll this out on a global scale," said ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun Touré.
"There is a need for harmonization of standardization of essential technologies to provide a solid base for further innovation," commented ISO Secretary-General Rob Steele.
Within ISO, the focus for ITS is ISO Technical Committee (TC) 204, Intelligent Transport Systems, which to date has developed 115 standards in the field. The U.S. holds the chairmanship and the secretariat of ISO TC 204. Michael Noblett of Connexis serves as chair, and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has delegated secretariat duties to the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA). An ANSI member and accredited standards developer, TIA also serves as the ANSI-accredited U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) Administrator to ISO TC 204.
ITU and ISO are welcoming participation in the Joint Task Force for ITS Communications by the national and regional standards bodies working in ITS and communications. For more information, contact Toby Johnson, senior communications officer, ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (+41 22 730 5877; [email protected]).